I’ve been in reflective mood about this blog recently. Perhaps because it’s New Year, perhaps because it hit one year old last month. Whatever the reason, I’ve been thinking about it’s future. I set it up as an experiment, and for the first three months was surprised at its success and the size of its readership – enough that I carried on writing it. And while that surprise has continued I didn’t continue the rather detached analysis of the blog’s development.
The consequence has been an evolution, rather than a development. For example I tend to post about things in which I have an interest – regeneration and community safety are the obvious ones, because they form my portfolio – but that means huge areas of council activity go uncommented. And I have tended not to write about things that are not council related, so you have been spared my fondness for Apple products, or my (non-trainspotter) excitement at using a sleeper train last week. But this has just happened rather than being a conscious choice.
Evolution is not a bad thing, of course. It hasn’t done too badly for homo sapiens and I’m obviously more likely to keep this going writing about things which interest me. But I think it’s valuable to take a step back from time to time to analyse and assess. It might not (and I don’t expect it to) result in a major change of direction but it will mean I’ve checked it against what I want it to do.
And part of that is asking you. I still see the prime purpose as being a ‘council’ blog. But is the balance right? Should I try to reflect the broader range of council activity, or as a personal councillor blog is it reasonable just to cover my personal work and interests? As a personal councillor blog should I include a bit more of the personal as well as the councillor (I am human after all)? Do I need to think about the balance between national, local (Wandsworth) and hyperlocal (Shaftesbury ward)? Is it responsive enough, or should I invite suggestions for topics rather than driving the agenda myself? Is there anything I’ve not even thought of?
I’d be fascinated to hear your thoughts (and please don’t force me to dig out the ‘tumbleweed and tolling bell’ track on my BBC Sound Effect Department 101 Clichéd Essentials CD) – you can use the comments, which can remain anonymous, email me or even use Twitter – there are all sorts of ways of contacting me